Monday, January 3, 2011

David Cole - Reform Material Support Laws for Terrorists

David Cole is a university professor with whom I do not necessarily see with eye-to-eye. In an Op-ed appearing in the New York Times on January 3, 2011, Cole discusses a problem with statutes that make it a crime to speak in favor of organizations classified as terrorists by the U.S. government.

DID former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Tom Ridge, a former homeland security secretary, and Frances Townsend, a former national security adviser, all commit a federal crime last month in Paris when they spoke in support of the Mujahedeen Khalq at a conference organized by the Iranian opposition group’s advocates? Free speech, right? Not necessarily.

Cole has been outspoken against the criminlzation of such conduct and brought suit to overturn its application. Unfortunately for him, the Supreme Court blocked speech or conduct that may be of indirect support to a terror organization.

I'm not sure how this should go. Who should be the arbiter of how much you can say, how much material, i.e. financial or goods, support can you provide, before it constitutes a benefit to a terror group. Where do we draw the line?

Read the full column, Reform Material Support Laws for Terrorists

What do you think?

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